Insight journal - Technology

Industry analysis in drug delivery partnering activity

Posted on 29 April 2014


Industry analysis reveals that over 2000 drug delivery partnering deals have been announced between January 2009 and April 2014, showing that drug delivery partnering is in good health, with numerous big pharma and big biotech companies actively partnering delivery technologies to support development of targeted therapeutics.That is one of the findings in Current Partnering’s newly published report Drug Delivery Partnering Terms and Agreements

Drug delivery has long been an important part of the pharmaceutical and biotech industry, whether it is providing enabling technology for novel therapeutics that would otherwise not achieve sufficient efficacy, or providing alternative delivery formats to enable extension of existing drugs or development of enhanced delivery profiles for generic drugs so as to differentiate from the original product offering.

A review of drug delivery partnering since 2009 shows that whilst there has been a decline in the number of partnering deals announced since the peak of 489 partnering deals during 2010, partnering in this emerging technology area is significant with pharma and biotech companies investing a great deal- eg: a recent deal between Roche and Isis Pharmaceuticals for Huntington’ treatment using antisense oligonucleotide technology for a deal value of $472 million that included upfront, license fee and milestone payments click here for more details.

Fig 1: Recent drug delivery trends: January 2009- April 2014










Further analysis of deal making data provided by Current Agreements ( shows that big pharma companies participate in drug delivery deal making to differing degrees. The data shows that companies such as GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca, Novartis, Merck & Co. are particularly active in drug delivery partnering. Whereas others such as AmgenServierDaiichi SankyoMisubishi Tanabe and others are almost inactive.

Figure 2: Big pharma drug delivery deal frequency – January 2009 to April 2014



























Source: Current Agreements, 2014

Drug delivery technology has been broken into more specific areas in our database as

  • Drug delivery
    • Bioavailability
    • Implantable
    • Oral delivery
      • Rapid release
      • Delayed release
  • Parenteral
    • Infusion
    • Injectable
  • Pro-drug
  • Targeted
  • Topical
  • Transdermal
  • Transmucosal
    • Buccal
    • Inhaled
    • Nasal
    • Ocular
    • Rectal
    • Sublingual
    • Urogenital

This categorization helps to easily identify the companies involved in a specific drug delivery technology and to spot the most popular area of partnering.

Figure 3: Drug delivery partnering by specific technology type: January 2009- April 2014













Source: CurrentAgreements, 2014

Drug delivery partnering is often targeted towards one of more specific therapy areas, for example oncology. When this is the case, the focus of the partnering effort is on a specific therapy area as opposed to therapeutics in general.

The following figure provides an overview of drug delivery partnering by specific therapy area since 20099. The most prolific therapeutic area by far is oncology.

Figure 4: Drug delivery partnering by disease type: January 2009- April 2014














Source: CurrentAgreements, 2014

Drug delivery deal financials also make an interesting read. As expected, drug delivery deal headline values tend to increase with stage of development at deal signing, as is the case with upfront payments at deal signing. The effect on royalty rate agreed based on stage of development at deal signing also makes interesting reading.

Of course, if any of these data points are to make sense there is a need to view each deal on its merits and any contract document in the public domain. The report outlined below provides this data, enabling the reader to determine in detail how drug delivery deals are structured.

An example drug delivery partnering deal

Co-development and co-promotion agreement for up to five innovative psychiatric and neuroscience products

Nov 10 2011 | Otuka, Lundbeck

Otsuka Pharmaceutical  and  Lundbeck entered into a long-term agreement for the development and commercialization of up to five innovative psychiatric and neuroscience products worldwide.

Under the terms of the agreement, Lundbeck will make an upfront payment upon signing of USD 200 million.

Otsuka will in total receive up to approximately USD 1.4 billion from Lundbeck as upfront payment and development and regulatory milestone payments.

With the addition of sales milestones in connection, Lundbeck will pay up to approximately USD 1.8 billion to Otsuka. Both companies will share the sales and development and commercialization costs based on the agreement.

For aripiprazole depot formulation, Lundbeck will receive 50% of net sales in Europe (EU5 and the 4 Nordic countries) and Canada and 20% of net sales in the U.S. from Otsuka.

The cost incurred for the development and promotion will be shared in the same ratio. Otsuka holds the rights in many of the Asian countries including Japan, as well as Turkey and Egypt.

For the remaining markets in the Lundbeck territories, Lundbeck will market the compound and Otsuka will supply the bulk product at a price of agreed percentage of the sales.

For OPC-34712, Lundbeck will receive 50% of net sales in Europe (EU5 and the 4 Nordic countries) and Canada and 45% of net sales in the U.S. from Otsuka.

For the remaining markets in the Lundbeck territories, Lundbeck will market the compound, and Otsuka will supply the bulk product at a price of agreed percentage of the sales.

A full deal record  can be viewed here

The above is abstracted from a recent report from Current Partnering ( called Drug Delivery Partnering Terms and Agreements that provides a comprehensive overview of deal making in the drug delivery technology sector.

The report provides a detailed understanding and analysis of how and why companies enter drug delivery partnering deals. The majority of deals are discovery or development stage whereby the licensee obtains a right or an option right to license the licensors drug delivery technology. These deals tend to be multicomponent, starting with collaborative R&D, and commercialization of outcomes.

This report contains over 2,000 links to online copies of actual drug delivery deals and contract documents as submitted to the Securities Exchange Commission by companies and their partners. Contract documents provide the answers to numerous questions about a prospective partner’s flexibility on a wide range of important issues, many of which will have a significant impact on each party’s ability to derive value from the deal.


The above information has been abstracted from the following resources:



View: Current Partnering’s Big Pharma Deal Making Scorecard – latest trends in big pharma deal making activity

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One Response to “Industry analysis in drug delivery partnering activity”

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